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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

John Mellencamp

Plain Spoken BluRay

Review by Gary Hill

This new BluRay with audio CD sure gets a lot of stuff right. That starts with the basic element of letting you choose to watch the concert with commentary or just as the concert by itself. So many concert videos are ruined by interjecting the commentary sections without giving the option to just experience the concert uninterrupted. It is a simple thing, but a classy one as far as I am concerned.

This concert at the Chicago Theater is just so strong, and the video and audio quality are top-notch.  Once he shed the pop rocker image and Cougar name, I have been a big fan of Mellencamp. His music covers territory that is bounded by country, folk, rock and even blues. It is above all else, genuine and entertaining.  They really do a nice cross section of Mellencamp’s music (post Cougar anyway) with different band configurations. Carleen Carter even guests at one point in the show.

In addition to the main concert, there is more here. That starts with the aforementioned CD of the music. Then add in that commentary option. Additionally there is a photo gallery. Finally the set includes a great booklet. In fact, I strongly suggest that you don’t ignore that and spend the time to actually read it. You can thank me after you do. All in all, this is just such a cool set. It really makes me wish I had been in that audience while almost making me feel like I was.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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